Toyota has hit back at reports from Germany that it had known about the accelerator problem in some of its vehicles since 2007.

Currently involved in a massive global recall, the Japanese manufacturer says it has a "strong explanation" as to why one of its Auris testing models encountered a sticky pedal problem citing its tough evaluation regime.

"We are aware of Germany newspaper reports and have investigated that thoroughly as it appeared yesterday evening," a Toyota Europe spokesman told just-auto.

"We really want to put the facts straight. We have extensive testing for all our vehicles under intense conditions - one of those tests is the European durability test which is driving vehicles 100,000km for six months under very severe conditions for [up to] 15 hours per day with different loads."

The testing is carried out by external companies and "several hundred observations" are made per driver with the Auris undergoing the programme in 2007. "Indeed a feeling of [a] sticky accelerator pedal was reported in 2007. That is true," noted the spokesman.

"The vehicle had been driven for more than 80,000km. We sent everything back to Japan for analysis and we did not manage to reproduce this sticky pedal feeling."

At the beginning of last year, the Toyota spokesman said the automaker began to receive more such reports at which point the decision was taken to improve the design, model to model from August 2009.

In Toyota City earlier today, Toyota president Akio Toyoda made a public apology for the recall situation.

In Germany, more than 215,000 cars covering eight models have been affected by the recalls.